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Discussion Starter #1
I was just wondering how many of you all have had one of these 96 4.6 litre and have had numerous problems with it. My problems started last summer when my suspension started giving me problems. I busted ball joint and after everyones recomendation I replaced virtually everthing up there from the ball joints to the control arm bushings, struts and even the coils were cracked :eek: . That put me back about $1200, then another problem. The A/C went out so I had to rebuild that, cost about $400. After that the battery and Alternator went out, that was another $300. Next was the heater core, cost with labor $500. Now the fuel pump is out, it is going to cost $300 w/labor, and my rack and pinion is leaking cost with labor $800. Now I know I am probably stupid to keep putting money into this piece of s**t car, but I wont even get ($)what I have put in it. Have any of you all ever had problems like this before with your bird. Should I sell it and take a loss, in case anything else happens next. It has 155,000 mainly highway miles. I dont know what to do keep it or sell and take the loss of money I have in it.
 

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If the car still runs good otherwise (engine tranny) then I say keep it. Only so many things can break. Mileage isnt always a good indicator of condition, its more about how its driven and even more about how it was taken care of. My buddys Monte Carlo had 57000 when he bought it and its been nothing but problems, Im over 355,000 and not many probs at all. A fuel pump isnt that hard to change yourself, all you need are a few tools, a couple hours and a couple jackstands, youll save alot of money by doing things yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Same I said "only so many things can break" and I think I have done most of them :) . The engine runs damn good, strong motor. The tranny started to slip a bit, but changed the fluid and flushed it took care of that. You have that many miles on your t-bird :eek: .
 

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Well thats in kms, its about 221,000 miles right now. And thats on my Cougar ;)
 

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Not bad, I really dont think there is much more that can be replaced. I might hold on to it when I get it out of the shop. I dont work on it myself because I work long hours and on my spare time I detail cars and install stereo systems. I am on vacation from work and I am sure not going to spend it working on my car ;) . I would rather pay to get it done I just want to relax :cool: . THANKS
 

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Depends on how much you like the car. It does help if you do the work yourself, but doesn't sound like you want to. These are pretty reliable cars, and suspension is a weak point. There is still many more things that could go wrong, still go the original transmission? Rear bearings seem to be a repeating issue for those that drive them hard. Got to remember your car is nearly 10 yrs old and not much resale value. I must admit I have spent plenty on my 95, but I really like the car.
Get a Nissan or Toyota if you don't want to deal with problems much. I just sold a 96 Altima with 124 K that my daughter drove and only replaced the battery, brakes, tires, plugs/wires, water pump and alternator the whole time we had it. I put too low of a price on it and sold it to a dealer before 8:00 am the first day it went in the paper. Got about 50 calls before I could get the ad out of the paper and they are still calling.
 

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I turned only 160,000 on my 89, and it is starting to need some attention. The ball joints are dry and popping, the lower arm bushing is shot, the sway bar links have seperated, the shocks have leaked out every last bit of fluid. It got an AOD at 110k, and head gaskets at 120k.

My 97 has some odd problems, nothing big, but odd, and the normal stuff (intake blew, rattly front end) but almost all the time and effort I have put into it has been to make it better/personalized. Even if it became a partial money pit (not that a grand in tires and wheels, 300 dollars in suspension, 300 to do the intake, 600 for the GT MAF and chip, 75 for the PI cams, etc is cheap) I couldn't see getting rid of it. I can't seem to part with the 89. Needs all the front end going over and new shocks, brake pads, and thats about it. I have had it for 10 or 11 years, it owes me nothing, a few hundred dollars to get it back into 99.7% shape (.3 loss for cracked dash).

I still enjoy working on my own cars, and not having someone else screw stuff up (I can do that fine on my own, thank you very much, see the rear shock woes I have created for myself), but there are times I would like to drop it off, and pick it up all fixed up. Which is a good thing, because I have the 89 Cougar, 97 Cougar, and 2000 Grand Marquis. They haven't been huge mechanical problem children, but I tend to drive them harder than most, and they require more attention and more frequent replacement of stuff like brakes, tranny fluid, oil, suspension pieces (89 for some reason lasted the longest, 145 hp V6 is the reason).
 

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to call a ten year old car that has 155k on it a pos , isnt right , that car has earned its value, and if its in overall good condition, fix it! these cars arent much trouble but at that milage, you cant complain about things just flat falling apart if they have never been touched. btw , dont EVER let your fuel tank go below an 1/4-1/8 of a tank, thats what costs fuel pumps, all that crap in the bottom of the tank
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have aslo replaced the wheel bearings forgot to mention.


I bought the car used, so who knows what it has been through. I have had it 3 years. I bought it because I got tired of driving around my minitruck everywhere.


I was also told "what do you expect, it is 10 years old".


I know all these are issues, but dont you all think that is alot to break down with 6 months. I thought my ex-girlfriend was bad, should have kept her instead :rofl: . I am probably going to keep it since I have so much into it. I am buying a new car in about 3 months so I will just use this one for work and I still have my mini put away, just wanted some opinions. I would work on it myself, but I work to damn much, my job requires it (10-12hrs a day). THANKS
 

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Discussion Starter #12
pnyklr said:
ya my 93 started with the lower ball joints at 155000 too now I still have to do the uppers but otherwise its all good
That is the way mine started 6 months ago, blew lower ball joint.
 

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from everything on your list i think the only thing i would have paid to have done would be the heater core. and thats only because its such a pita i'll let someone else do it and save me from a day of cursing.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Matter of fact that is one that I did myself, and boy was it a f**ckin hassel. I learned quite a bit when I did it though. That was when I had time to do things myself, now that I am short empoyees I have to work more :( .
 

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i had my 97 bird for 3 years and the only thing i replaced (other than regular maintenance) was a battery. it had a lot less miles on it though.

Frank
 

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Back when I first got mine, I decided to change the tranny filter and found the factory plug for the dipstick hole still in the pan. Didnt look like much had been done in maintenance till I got it, everything was original. But all Ive had to do was alt, fuel pump and two bushings. Not bad for the mileage, and the time Ive had the car.
 

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check sig, those trannies dont come cheap at around 1200 a pop.
 

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ThomasR91169 said:
check sig, those trannies dont come cheap at around 1200 a pop.
Of course you could have bought a low mileage 99+ 4R70W for less than half of that and it probably would not have broken again :rolleyes:
 

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think of it this way: how much are payments on a new car going to be? A brand new car is going to be at least 15k even for a focus and that payment is going to be like 400 bucks a month. looking at it like that, even if you have to throw a grand a year at your car to keep it going its a steal. There is no poorer investment than a new car. end of story.
 
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